Zimbabwe-born British singer-songwriter Tinashe Fazakerley has released his highly anticipated debut album Rationale this past Friday. The rhythm and blues artist has previously worked under the moniker, Tinashé, and then rebranded himself as Rationale in 2015. He was one of the first artists signed to Dan Smith of Bastille’s record label, Best Laid Plans, and has grabbed the attention of critics and fans alike with his 2015 single “Fast Lane." 

With his self-titled debut, Rationale has combined previously released songs with new tunes that further establish his electronic R&B style. Throughout the album, Rationale subtly infuses multiple genres and pushes boundaries. The first track of the album “Re.Up” borders smooth soul music, “Into The Blue” pushes electronic beats and the closing track “Somewhere To Belong” exudes an acoustic folk sound. 

“Somewhere To Belong” is one of the key highlights to the album as a whole. Rationale exhibits raw emotion and wears his heart on his sleeve in this tune about the unromantic truths of life. 

A constant theme throughout the album is Rationale’s personable lyrics. Each story seems like it was experienced firsthand by Rationale. He is the lead songwriter on every track of the album, and is accompanied by some other songwriters which adds the personal touch. 

The biggest possible critique of this album is the amount of already released songs that are included. To some, it could be seen as a way to just fill space on the album. However, the addition of the songs creates growth and ties it all together as a whole. Both “Fast Lane” and “Re.Up” were some of Rationale’s first songs, and to see them featured on his debut album shows his intent as a musician from the beginning. 

One could view this album as a collection of best songs through Rationale’s career so far. No matter how you judge it, Rationale has received praise not only from critics, but from other popular artists. Most notably, Pharrell William’s commended Rationale on his Apple Music radio show, OTHERtone. Also, artists such Ellie Goulding, Katy Perry, Justin Timberlake and even Elton John have shown interest in the singer-songwriter. 

Though Fazakerley may not be incredibly new to the music scene, it’s exciting to see him find his niche under the moniker Rationale. He effortlessly blended his past experiences as Tinashé into his present music and has used them to create a 12-track album that evokes emotion and defies set genres. Having supported bands such as Bastille and label mate Rag’n’Bone Man in the past, Rationale is set to headline his biggest tour throughout the UK. With such a huge and ever-growing fan base, there’s no doubt the singer-songwriter will be able to sell-out the many venues he plays at. 

Rating: 4/5

@mollyschramm2

ms660416@ohio.edu 

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